Theatre to Boost Youth Job Opportunities

Tuesday, 3rd February, 2009
A group of unemployed young people will get real job experience when they work at The Y's live stand up shows during Leicester Comedy Festival. They are all learners on Leicester YMCA's new Customer Service Training course, which will give them qualifications and valuable experience in bar, front of house, reception and box office roles.

The training was set up to help young homeless or disadvantaged people to get into employment and live independently. Most of the learners are living or have recently moved on from Leicester YMCA's supported accommodation. Delivered in partnership with Skills Point and South Leicestershire College, the course will enable them to gain an NVQ Customer Services qualification, alongside health and safety, food hygiene, basic skills and interview preparation.

Shenade, learner and former Leicester YMCA resident, said: "It's a really interesting course that is teaching us things we didn't know and brushing up on the skills we have got - it helps us see things better from a customer point of view. I've been looking for a job for about a year but I want to get a good job to pay for my flat - qualifications will help with that. I think this course will help me get a job that I will enjoy."

As the professional theatre and arts side of Leicester YMCA, The Y presents an exciting environment for the 6 week course, which began in January. The learners will get a number of real work opportunities including staffing a week of live comedy events and Homeless Link's Ending Rough Sleepers Regional Conference.

The training has been developed as part of the Places of Change project, funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government with the support of Leicester City Council. The first phase of the project in 2008 saw the renovation of the theatre, reception and bar areas.

Image left to right: Alex Rathnie, Carla Ames, Shenade Walbrook and Katy White

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